Tester Secures an Additional $481,000 for Water Infrastructure in Cascade County

Funding comes from USDA Rural Development

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today secured $481,600 from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development to complete critical renovations in the Simms Sewer District. This funding will be used to clean out existing lagoons, upgrade piping structures, control leakage, and construct a new spray irrigation system on adjacent agricultural lands. Senator Tester previously secured $1,495,000 for the Simms Sewer District through his American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

“Making sure our water infrastructure and sewage systems are up-to-date not only ensures folks have clean water to drink and use in their homes, but it also means our farmers and ranchers have the water they need to run their businesses and support their local economies,” Tester said. “I am proud to have secured this funding to finish up the renovations in the Simms Sewer District, which will support local businesses and improve the quality of life for folks in Cascade County.”

The town of Simms has a population of less than 350 people and for years has suffered from inadequate wastewater infrastructure. The total cost to repair the town’s wastewater treatment plant was estimated at roughly $3.6 million, or $10,000 per person. This new funding, in addition to the $1,495,000 Tester secured through ARPA, will cover the cost of the second stage of Simms Sewer District renovations.

Tester has fought tirelessly to secure funding for water infrastructure improvements across Montana. In April, Tester secured $127 million for water and sewer grants from ARPA, which included $118.2 million for 95 water and sewer projects and $8.8 million for 34 irrigation projects. Last October, Tester also announced more than $12 million in USDA funding to improve water infrastructure in Harlowton and Choteau, which included $7.758 million in USDA Water and Waste Disposal Grants, and $4.528 million in USDA Water and Waste Disposal.